Ballyhale Shamrocks delivered a ruthless second-half display to ease to their ninth Leinster Club SHC title success at Ballyboden St Enda’s expense in Netwatch Cullen Park today.
Henry Shefflin’s charges secured an emphatic 2-21 to 0-11 victory after holding their Dublin opponents to three second-half points.
With their defence very much on top, their forwards held up their end of the bargain at the opposite end of the field and scored 1-12 after the resumption to run out comfortable winners.
Adrian Mullen found the back of the Ballyboden net in both halves to send his team on the way to an All-Ireland semi-final date with Ballygunner.
Played in extremely difficult conditions, Ballyhale didn’t waste any time in seizing the initiative and Mullen bagged his first goal in the 9th minute.
Some wayward shooting saw the Kilkenny standard bearers accumulate 10 first-half wides and, as a result, Ballyboden were still in the contest when trailing by just 0-8 to 1-9 at the halfway stage.
Ballyhale Shamrocks captain Michael Fennelly celebrates with the trophy. ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.
TJ Reid – who finished the game with 0-9 to his name - brought the curtain down on the first-half with a point from a free.
The floodlights were turned on for the second-half and Reid continued where he left off in the first with a point from a ‘65’.
Another TJ free followed and it was very much advantage to the Kilkenny champions.
They were 1-16 to 0-9 ahead entering the final quarter and Mullen applied the icing to the cake with a second goal in the 55th minute.
Ballyhale Shamrocks - D Mason; B Butler, J Holden, D Mullen; E Shefflin (0-1), M Fennelly (0-1), R Reid; C Walsh, R Corcoran; A Mullen (2-1), TJ Reid (0-9, 8f), B Cody; E Reid (0-3), C Fennelly (0-2), E Cody (0-3). Subs: G Butler for C Walsh, M Aylward (0-1) for B Cody, J Cuddihy for E Reid, P Mullen for R Corcoran, K Mullen for B Butler.
Ballyboden St Enda's - G Maguire; D O'Connor, L Corcoran, J Madden; S Lambert, D Curtin, D Curran; S Durkin (0-1), S O'Connor; C Keaney, C Dooley, N McMorrow (0-1); A Mellett, C Basquel (0-2), P Ryan (0-5, 4f). Subs: N Ryan (0-2) for C Dooley, P Doherty for A Mellett, F McGarry for D Curran, C McCormack for D O'Connor, M Travers for S O'Connor.
Referee - P Murphy.